The Northwest Arkansas Council works with partners to produce comprehensive reports to provide insight into what's happening in the region and how it's changing.
The latest is the Northwest Arkansas Council Annual Report, which is published each summer. It describes the Council’s work over the previous year and it describes some of the work that will occur in the upcoming months and years. If you click on the image to the right, you can download it and see the report.
While the Annual Report highlights all the Council’s work, there are times when the Council digs deep to look at a specific issue or challenge in the region.
The latest example of a “dig deep” report was called Northwest Arkansas Healthcare: Assessment, Economic Impact and Vision for the Future. It was made public in January 2019, focusing on Northwest Arkansas’ healthcare sector, a $2.7 billion portion of the region’s economy.
Researchers determined that collaboration to advance the healthcare sector could transition Northwest Arkansas into a “healthcare destination,” add thousands of jobs over 20 years and increase the number of cardiologists, neurologists and endocrinologists who live and work in the region.
Compared to peer regions used by the Northwest Arkansas Council to measure the region’s success against top regions across the U.S., the Northwest Arkansas portion of the economy is small. About 7 percent of jobs in Northwest Arkansas are healthcare-related while the percentage is significantly higher in peer regions that have taken intentional steps to growth their healthcare economy.
The State of the Northwest Arkansas Region Report, first published in 2011 and commissioned by the Council, compares Northwest Arkansas with peer regions across the U.S. Those peers include outstanding places such as Austin, Texas; Madison, Wisconsin; Des Moines, Iowa; Raleigh, North Carolina; and Durham-Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
The Council chose those peers because it wanted to compare Northwest Arkansas to the best of the best in such areas as employment growth, educational attainment, personal income and the cost of homeownership.
The Council's strong relationship with the University of Arkansas has allowed us to partner with the university to evaluate and track the region's performance in key areas.
In 2018, the Council published Diversity: A Look at How Northwest Arkansas' Population is Changing. The report provides information about the region's increasing diversity, and it shows how Northwest Arkansas now includes large populations of Hispanic/Latinos, Asians, African-Americans and Pacific Islanders. Those are the fastest-growing populations in Northwest Arkansas.
The Council also works with the Office for Education Policy at the University of Arkansas to publish an annual Northwest Arkansas Education Report Card in the early part of the year. The report provides information about the educational performance of our local school districts. It compares Northwest Arkansas with key school districts across the U.S., demonstrating that people who do relocate to this region have great school options for their children.